Antonio Bastardo, an important part of the Pirates’ bullpen in the 2015 campaign, is set to sign with the New York Mets according to MLB Network Insider, Jon Heyman. Bastardo’s deal is expected to be two years and $12 million.
It never seemed likely the Pirates would retain Bastardo despite his usefulness. Bidding was high for Bastardo and participating in such a competitive situation would have been out of character for the team given their distaste for pricey reliever commitments. It was widely reported that the Dodgers, Blue Jays and Orioles were interested in signing him.
Last season the 30-year old reliever appeared in 66 games, completing 57 1/3 innings and posted a 2.98 ERA. Bastardo’s velocity improved in 2015 and his bottom line stats got a nice boost from a great down the stretch run in the race with the Cardinals.
Bastardo will be missed in Pittsburgh. 66 appearances by a resurgent lefty will be hard to replace. Recent signings of replacement-type guys by the Pirates include signing righties Neftali Feliz, Trey Haley and even former Red Sox star Daniel Bard. Kyle Lobstein, a lefty, was also signed and could be a starter or work from the bullpen, but given his more recent travails it seems more likely it will be the latter. These players are just a few names of the 13 pitchers the club has acquired in the offseason to potentially fill the big shoes of guys like A.J. Burnett, Charlie Morton, Joakim Soria and others.